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Ice Photo #5 – Evighedsfjord, Greenland / Photo de glace #5 – Evighedsfjord, Groenland

This week’s ice photo was taken on July 10, 2016, during Adventure Canada’s Greenland and Northern Labrador expedition. When we woke up that day, the Ocean Endeavour was anchored in the Evighedsfjord (the fjord of Eternity) with glaciers and high mountains in the background. The highlight of the morning was the zodiac cruise to approach one of the glaciers. Don’t worry! The zodiacs stayed at a safe distance. It’s the effect of the lens that makes it look like we were almost touching it.

For more photos of our zodiac cruise in the Eternity Fjord.

La photo de la glace de cette semaine a été prise le 10 juillet, 2016 durant l’expédition le nord du Labrador et le Groenland d’Adventure Canada. Lorsque nous nous sommes réveillés ce matin, l’Ocean Endeavour était ancré dans le Evighedsfjord (le fjord de l’éternité) avec de hautes montagnes et des glaciers comme toile de fond. Le point culminant de la matinée fut la croisière en zodiac pour approcher un des glaciers. Ne vous inquiétez pas! Les zodiacs sont demeurés à une distance sécuritaire. C’est l’effet de la lentille de la caméra qui donne l’impression que nous pouvions presque le toucher.

Pour voir plus de photos de la croisière dans le fjord de l’Éternité.

 

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Pérégrinations nordiques : le Nunavik vu par Robert Fréchette

Bonjour,

Lors d’une récente visite à Montréal, j’ai pris le temps de déambuler sur l’avenue du Mont-Royal pour voir l’exposition Pérégrinations nordiques mettant en vedette les paysages, les habitants et la faune du Nunavik. Le photographe, Robert Fréchette, aujourd’hui directeur général de l’Institut culturel Avataq, mais aussi fondateur de la première agence de photojournalisme indépendante du Québec, ex-directeur au développement des Parcs nationaux du Québec au Nunavik et ex-directeur du Parc national des Pingualuit, entre autres, a vécu une quinzaine d’années au Nunavik de 1994 à 2008.

Au travers de la cinquantaine de photos grand format étalées ici et là, soit sur l’avenue du Mont-Royal ou sur les coins des rues perpendiculaires, et ce entre les rues Fullum et de Bullion (séparées par près d’une trentaine de rues), il nous offre un portrait très intimiste de la vie des Inuits du Nunavik.

L’avenue du Mont-Royal étant très achalandée, j’ai été agréablement surprise de voir que beaucoup de passants prenaient le temps d’arrêter pour regarder les photos, lire les légendes, prendre des selfies, discuter du sujet de l’image, partager leurs connaissances et leurs expériences dans le Grand Nord…

Voici donc quelques images de l’exposition et de la vie urbaine qui l’entoure. En espérant que vous aussi aurez la chance, d’ici le 31 octobre 2016, de passer pour admirer les splendeurs des paysages du Grand Nord québécois, pour découvrir le quotidien d’une population que nous, gens du Sud, connaissons encore bien mal, et pour être surpris par les clins d’œil que la faune peut nous faire.

Bonne visite!
France Rivet

Introduction de l’exposition

Nous habitons un pays nordique, mais combien d’entre nous connaissent vraiment le Nord? Que dire du Nunavik qui constitue près de la moitié de la superficie du Québec? Combien de Québécois peuvent positionner Kujjuuaq sur une carte? Au-delà des clichés connait-on, ne serait-ce qu’un petit peu, la culture des Inuits du Québec?

Cette exposition est constituée de trois pratiques photographiques différentes. Les images soumises ont été captées sur une période de 20 ans. En effet, les circonstances de mon long séjour au Nunavik m’ont amené à faire de la photo aérienne, du photojournalisme documentaire et de la photo animalière. Il s’agit de photos d’amis et de différents sujets qui m’ont captivé au fil des ans. Évidemment, chacune de ces approches favorise un sujet : les habitants, le territoire et la faune arctique. La combinaison des trois présente le Nunavik d’une manière dynamique, comme un coin de pays fascinant, presque mythique, habité par une culture et un mode de vie parfois très différents, mais tantôt si semblables à ce que l’on vit au Sud.

Robert Fréchette 2016

Panneau d'introduction à la sortie de la station de métro Mont-Royal.

Panneaux à la sortie de la station de métro Mont-Royal.

 

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Famille admirant la photo du cratère de Pingualuit. À droite, une photo aérienne du fjord Nachvak au Labrador.

 

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Ces deux jeunes garçons marchaient d’un bon pas lorsque l’un d’eux s’est exclamé : «Mais, c’est donc bien beau! Il faut que je prenne une photo pour l’envoyer à ma mère!»

 

Panneaux au coin de la rue Fabre.

Panneaux au coin de la rue Fabre.

 

Tivi Etok

Quelle agréable surprise ce fut de reconnaître Tivi Etok, rencontré en juillet 2009 sur une croisière le long des côtes du Labrador. Tivi, via son interprète, avait livré un témoignage très émouvant des dures réalités de sa vie. Sa résilience s’est avérée être une belle leçon de vie. Je me souviens aussi de sa joie et de son rire lorsqu’à L’Anse-aux-Meadows il avait vu son tout premier cochon!

 

Deux passants discutant de la chasse à la baleine.

Deux passants discutant de la chasse à la baleine boréale devant le Parc Compagnons-de-Saint-Laurent.

 

Mère enlaçant son jeune fils au pied de la photo d'un jeune garçon au retour de la chasse à l'outarde.

Mère enlaçant son jeune fils au pied de la photo d’un jeune garçon au retour de la chasse à l’outarde.

 

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Ice Photo #4 – Ramah Bay Iceberg / Photo de glace #4 – Iceberg de la baie de Ramah

This week’s ice photo was taken on July 7, 2016 at 4:13 a.m. I was admiring the sunrise from one of the decks of the Ocean Endeavour anchored in Ramah Bay, Torngat Mountains National Park.

La photo de glace de cette semaine a été prise le 7 juillet 2016 à 4:13 alors que j’admirais le lever du soleil à partir d’un des ponts du Ocean Endeavouor alors ancré dans la baie de Ramah, Parc national des Monts Torngat.

Sunrise over Ramah Bay (Nunatsiavut) / Lever de soleil sur la baie de Ramah (Nunatsiavut)

Sunrise over Ramah Bay (Nunatsiavut) / Lever de soleil sur la baie de Ramah (Nunatsiavut)

Ice Photo #3: Twisted Ice Chunk / Photo de glace #3 – Torsade de glace

This week’s ice photo was taken during a late night cruise in the Ilulissat Ice Fjord in Greenland’s Disko Bay. The captain had just used his fishing net to scoop up several small pieces of ice that had broken off nearby icebergs. This one looked most interesting with its twisted shape.

La photo de glace de cette semaine a été prise lors d’une croisière de fin de soirée dans le fjord glacé d’Ilulissat, dans la baie de Disko au Groenland. Le capitaine venait juste de tendre son filet de pêche pour ramasser plusieurs petits morceaux qui s’étaient détachés des icebergs avoisinnants. La forme torsadée de celui-ci lui donnait une allure unique.

Ice Photo - Twisted Bergy bit

Jonas Nochasak of Hopedale: son of Abraham Ulrikab or of Tigianniak? Did the records confirm the family link?

Hello everyone,

To my astonishment, about two weeks ago, I received an email from Richard Burton, up in Prophet River, British Columbia, telling me that he believed he was the great-great-grandson of Abraham Ulrikab. Richard had just been made aware of Abraham’s story by his father Andrew who had heard about the book In the Footsteps of Abraham Ulrikab and the documentary Trapped in a Human Zoo. Abraham’s story resonated with both men. Through their family’s oral history, they had always been told that, when Andrew’s grandfather Jonas was five years old, his parents had departed for Europe, never to be seen again. Jonas had one daughter, Barbara. Andrew is her son, Richard her grandson.

My very first reaction was to forward the email to Professor Hans Rollmann at Memorial University. Hans has been researching Abraham’s family for several years, and was mandated by the Nunatsiavut government to try to identify living descendants. Even though Abraham and his family perished overseas, it is a possibility that there are still living descendants in Labrador. How come? Abraham left children behind: those of his first marriage with a woman named Martha. I was therefore curious to know if one of them was named Jonas and had been born around 1875. For sure, Hans would know the answer. His reply came back saying that there was no trace of any child named Jonas.

I fired off a series of questions to Richard. The new information stated that Jonas’ last name was Nogosik (Noggasak/Nochasak). He was married to Justine and their daughter Barbara Frances had been born in 1908. Jonas would have died in Hopedale in the late 1920s. Richard also added an important detail: “I have always been told that Jonas, and his father who went across the ocean, were the shamans of Labrador”. Well! If his father was a shaman then it couldn’t be Abraham, a devout Christian of the Moravian Church.

So, one possibility we thought we’d look into was if Jonas’ father was the shaman Tigianniak, who travelled as part of Abraham’s group. Jonas being a very Christian name, I wondered if 5-year-old Jonas had been adopted by one of the relatives of Tigianniak who had decided to convert to Christianism. His new parents could have changed his first name from an Inuit one to a Christian one, or Jonas could have converted and taken a Christian name when older. His last name being Noggasak was also intriguing. It seemed plausible that in the 1890s, when Inuit had to choose last name, the young man would have decided to pay tribute to his older sister Nuggasak, who had died in Europe with Tigianniak and Paingu, her parents.

Richard also sent me a photograph of Jonas and his wife Justine.

Jonas and Justine Nochasak, Hopedale, Labrador

Jonas and Justine Nochasak, Hopedale, Labrador

I did a quick montage with the pictures of Tigianniak and Paingu, and to be honest, I could see some resemblance. What do you think?

Paingu, Jonas Nochasak, Tiggianiak

Paingu, Jonas Nochasak, Tiggianiak

I fired off another email to Hans, as well as to Carol Brice-Bennett, who has done a lot of genealogical research for Labrador families. They both came back to me with the same conclusion: the Jonas Nochasak who married Justine and had a daughter Barbara Frances came from a long lineage of Nochasak whose origin is in Hopedale, and who were christianized early on by the Moravians. In short:

  • Barbara Frances Nochasak was born on 9 December 1917 in Hopedale. She would have been named after her father’s uncle’s wife or her great-great-grandmother.
  • Barbara had an older sister, Sarah (born in 1911), and an older brother, Zacharias (born in 1914)
  • Barbara’s parents were Jonas and Justine Nochasak who were married in Hopedale on February 25, 1911.
  • Jonas was born on January 8, 1890, in Hopedale, and died in Hopedale on April 8, 1939. Jonas was a well-known chapel servant at the Moravian church in Hopedale.
  • Jonas’ wife, Justine, was born around 1879 in Okak. When she married Jonas, she was the widow of a man named Santer (or Sauter?). Justine died in 1938. (Here is a note from Carol: Justine was about 11 years older than Jonas but such marriages were fairly common because eligible girls for marriage were scarce at the time and young men were often compelled to marry widows.)
  • Jonas’ parents were Nathaniel & Sarah Nochasak from Hopedale.
  • Nathaniel was the son of Jonas and Ida Nochasak, also from Hopedale.

Carol believes that the photos of Jonas and Justine was taken in Hopedale because of the structure of the houses. I did a quick search on the website Labrador Inuit through Moravian eyes and found this image that gives a better idea of what the community looked like. Here is the link to access the original image.

Hopedale's Moravian missionary buildings and Inuit houses.

Hopedale’s Moravian missionary buildings and Inuit houses.

The search also yielded the following photo of a Jonas Nochasak who was an organ player in Hopedale in 1906. It was extracted from a presentation by Professor Tom Gordon from Memorial University. In 1906, Jonas (the father of Barbara) was only 16 years old, so it can’t be him on the photo. Maybe an uncle or his grandfather?

Jonas Nochasak, organist at Hopedale, Nunatsiavut, 1906

Jonas Nochasak, Organist at Hopedale, Nunatsiavut, 1906

I had the great pleasure of visiting Hopedale in early July. The church and mission house shown on the photo above are still standing. Here is a “postcard” of a few images taken inside the Moravian church where Barbara was baptized, and where Jonas was a chapel servant. The organ you see on the bottom left picture has been in the church since 1847. It is the same one Jonas above would have played on.

Moravian Church, Hopedale, Nunatsiavut

Moravian Church, Hopedale, Nunatsiavut

For more photos of Hopedale, have a look at my Hopedale album on Flickr.

It was a bit sad that the records did not confirm any family link with Abraham, Tigianniak, or Paingu, but the possibility that such a link existed was quite exciting, since it would have meant that the request for repatriation could have been issued by living descendants.

Thank you to Richard Burton and his family for coming forward and for answering the many questions I had. The possible link was worth investigating and, it sure was fun! A big thank you goes to Hans Rollmann and Carol Brice-Bennett whose work has allowed descendants of the Nochasak family now living in British Columbia and Ontario to discover their real family lineage in Labrador.

Nakummek! Thank you!
France Rivet

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Photo de glace #2 : Bateau croisant un iceberg dans la baie de Disko

(English version of this post)

Bonjour,

Après avoir lu qu’un petit bateau avec 23 passagers à bord a coulé dimanche dernier près d’Ilulissat (ayant heurté soit une roche ou un iceberg), mon choix pour la photo de glace de cette semaine en est une prise le 15 juillet 2016 alors que je marchais le long de la promenade en bois de l’Arctic Hotel. J’admirais alors la vue sur Ilulissat, la baie de Disko, et les tonnes d’icebergs qui émergent du fjord glacé d’Ilulissat. Selon les images illustrant l’article ci-dessus, l’accident aurait eu lieu au pied d’où je me trouvais.

Ice Photo #2 - Speedboat in Disko Bay

J’espère que personne ne laissera cet accident les dissuader de visiter Ilulissat, un point culminant de mon voyage au Groenland. Les photos ne peuvent jamais rendre la majesté du fjord glacé, un site du patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO. L’iceberg sur l’image est la taille d’un grain de sable par rapport à ceux qui sont en arrière-plan. Mais, pour voir ceux-ci, vous devrez attendre une future photo de glace 😉

Excellente journée à tous!
France Rivet

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Ice Photo#2: Speed Boat Passing by an Iceberg in Disko Bay

(version française de ce texte)

Hello,

After reading that a small ship with 23 passengers on board sank on Sunday near Ilulissat (after hitting an underwater rock or iceberg), my choice for this week’s ice photo is one taken on July 15, 2016 as I was walking along the boardwalk of the Arctic Hotel overlooking the Ilulissat, Disko Bay, and the tons of icebergs coming out of the Ilulissat Icefjord. Based on the images provided in the above article, the accident would have occurred not far from where I was standing.

Ice Photo #2 - Speedboat in Disko Bay

I sure hope that people will not let this accident deter them from visiting Ilulissat. It was definitely a highlight of my trip to Greenland. Pictures can never render the majesty of the icefjord, a UNESCO world heritage site. The iceberg on the picture is the size of a grain of sand compared to those that are in the background. But you’ll have to wait for a future ice photo to see them 😉

Have a great day!
France Rivet

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Photo de glace #1 : Iceberg le long de la côte du Labrador

(English version of this text)

Bonjour,

Depuis quelques années, tous les mercredis, j’admire les photos de glace (#icephotos) affichées sur Twitter. Eh bien! Suite à mes deux récents voyages au-delà du 50e parallèle, je crois maintenant avoir suffisamment de photos portant sur des sujets “glacés” pour commencer à en afficher une à mon tour tous les mercredis.

Pour débuter, voici une image prise le 2 juillet le long de la côte du Labrador. J’étais à bord du Ocean Endeavour prenant part à l’expédition “Groenland et Labrador du Nord” d’Adventure Canada. Nous venions de terminer notre excursion à Wonderstrands et à la Réserve du parc national Monts Mealy. La première chose que j’ai vue quand nous sommes passés aux côtés de cet iceberg était le profil d’un ours polaire. D’autres personnes voient un dauphin ou un chien avec ses longues oreilles. Que voyez-vous?

Excellente journée!
France Rivet

Ice Photo - 2016-08-17 - 900px

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Ice Photo #1: Iceberg along the Labrador Coast

(version française de ce texte)

Hello,

For the last few years, every Wednesday, I’ve been admiring ice photos (#icephotos) being posted on Twitter. Well! With this summer’s two trips above the 50th parallel, I now feel that I have sufficient photos of icy subjects to start posting one every Wednesday.

To kick things off, here is an image taken on July 2 along the Labrador Coast. I was on board the Ocean Endeavour taking part in Adventure Canada’s Greenland and Northern Labrador expedition. We had just departed from our excursion at Wonderstrands and the Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve. The first thing I saw when we passed by this iceberg was the profile of a polar bear. Other people see a dolphin or a dog with its long ears. What do you see?

Enjoy!
France Rivet

Ice Photo - 2016-08-17 - 900px

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Ottawa’s Inuit Community Celebrates the many successes and inspiring stories of Inuit in Canada

Ullukut!

On March 19, 2016, Ottawa’s Inuit community held its annual spring equinox celebration. Organized by Tungasuvvingat Inuit, this year’s theme was Imagine, Inspire, Create and Celebrate. Inuit artists from all regions of Canada were invited to perform. A most successful evening to honour the many successes and inspiring stories of Inuit in Canada.

Here’s a photographic summary of the evening:

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The evening’s MC, Beatrice Deer

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Those who participated in Tungasuvvingat Inuit’s cultural centre programs were very proud to wear and show us their own creations.

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9-year-old Timothy Erkloo’s drum performance

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Fashion show of OKA (Original Killer Apparel) Fashions designed by Nunavik’s Tanya Innaarulik.

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Nunavut Sivuniksavut students explained who/what inspired them to pursue their post-secondary education and why it is so important.

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Nunavut Sivuniksavut students

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Nunavut Sivuniksavut students

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Nunavut Sivuniksavut students

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Nunavut Sivuniksavut students

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Nunavut Sivuniksavut students performing dances.

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Janice Oolayou and Ben Jammin.

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Joshua Stribbbell reading his poem.

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14-year-old Taylor DeVos telling us about how she made a difference by raising over $15,000 to help young girls in Haïti get an education. Check out her website http://www.1kidmakingadifference.com/

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Performance of the Inuit Drum group “Kilautiup Songuninga” (strength of the drums) from St. John’s, Newfoundland-and-Labrador: Angus Andersen, Stan Nochasak, Sophie Angnatok and Solomon Semigak.

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Performance of the Inuit Drum group “Kilautiup Songuninga” (strength of the drums) from St. John’s, Newfoundland-and-Labrador.

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Joy Sevigny explaining how she stopped smoking and developed her passion for running and marathons.

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Throat singer Nikki Komaksiutiksak from Winnipeg.

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Throat-singers Nikki Komaksiutiksak and Sophie Angnatok.

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Boyce Campbell

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Donna May Kimmaliardjuk, cardiac surgeon

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Singer Kelly Fraser

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Veronica Puskas who wan national awards for her quilts. She also explained how, after the death of her mother, she heard a voice telling her to take the pills that would stop her heart. She reminded us all to never listen to that voice if they hear it. It is a lie.

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Stan Nochasak, whose family’s origin go back to Hebron, Nunatsiavut, tells us the story of the very first Inuksuk. (See below for the actual story)

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Stan Nochasak performing the Inuksuk dance!

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The last performance of the evening was by Twin Flames made up of singer-songwriters Chelsey June and Jaaji, Jonathan Edwards (lead guitar), Karolyne Lafortune (violin), Andy Dubois (drums), Mark Fraser (bass and cello), Riit Mike and Kristen Ungungai-Kownak (throat singers).

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Chelsey June and Mark Turner.

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Chelsey June, Mark Turner, Jaaji, Karolyne Lafortune

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Jaaji and Karolyne Lafortune.

 

I would like to end this post with the story of the first Inuksuk as Stan Nochasak shared it. What you will read below was actually written by Stan over ten years ago and does not accurately reflect how he verbally tells the story nowadays. From what Stan recalls, the story first came to him from the work of two Memorial University students who collected Inuit stories for their masters degree. Upon reading it, he decided to memorize the story, just in case. Then by some odd providence, he lost the written story. Fortunately, he had fully memorized NiKaak’s quote as well as the general story. Stan then proceeded to write it down giving himself the liberty to be creative while ensuring to keep the original spirit of the story, and including other aspects of Inuit culture, of its traditional values.

NakutlaKutit (Thank you very much) Stan! It still most valuable for all of us to get a better understanding of the Inuit culture and spirit.

The Story of the First Inuksuk: A long time ago, a group of Inuit hunters were travelling, looking for seals. If seals were not plentiful in one area, the hunters had to go to another place, and in this case, it was a long way away. So, these hunters came upon another band of Inuit whom, like they, would share their hunting grounds with them. Among the arrivals was a young man named IKaluk. In the band of people was a beautiful woman named NiKaak, who IKaluk fell in love with. After awhile they wanted to get married. But her father said no. He was afraid his daughter would get in trouble in another clan; that she was going to be treated cruelly, After much pleading, confidence from IKaluk, assurances from friendly hunters, and his deliberations, he agreed to the marriage. On one condition: Ikaluk was to travel to his family, tell them what has been contracted and in effect return the following summer. It was much sorrow to NiKaak for them to part. Before his departure, they went on the highest hill so Ikaluk could point out where he was going, to show her where his family lives. But NiKaak could not see where it was. It was beyond the horizon. She broke into tears and could not be comforted. She said, thinking, “You will not return. I know something dreadful will happen. You are going on a long journey. Maybe a whale will overturn your kayak and you will be drowned in the sea. Maybe we will have a hard winter and our people will have starved to death. Maybe by next year, you will have forgotten about me and will have taken a wife from your own village.” Seeing that she could not be given comfort, he decided to pick up some rocks. He began to gather rocks and pile them up one on top of the other. Then she became curious. Her sense of curiosity had been aroused. She asked, “What are you doing? What is that?”, her tears gone. “That,” he replied, “is an inuksuk. That is my inuksuk. It is not an Inuk because it is not made of flesh and blood, and it cannot speak but inside this cairn of rocks I have captured my spirit and I am leaving it here with you until I return. Guard it with care, see that no one dismantles it, for then my spirit would drift with the wind and I would die. Please come here every day and talk to me. In spirit we can never be apart.” She was comforted, grew with happiness. She knew he must return to claim his spirit buried in the cairn of rocks. Throughout the seasons, she visited the inuksuk, and talked to it. She was not lonely, as she had purported to herself. The villagers were often curious about why she took so many lonely walks. All her time, she did not tell them her reason. Because they might think she was crazy and unreasonable. One day under the noonday sun a point in the horizon took her curiosity. She wondered. She saw then it was a band of people. Recognized it was IKaluk and his family. She became really elated, exulted on the way down. That night they produced a joyous occasion. Nikaak and IKaluk decided to tell them of their story of the inuksuk. They were a bit reluctant at first to tell them. They might think they were crazy, unreasonable. When they heard this, they looked at one another and said we should tell our children and their children’s children and so on that every time we see an inuksuk we should respect it because it reminds us of our spirits.

Thank you for reading!
France Rivet